Scholars agree that Africa became a province after the destruction of Carthage in 146, but close examination of the evidence for the practice reveals that it is, at best, limited. Instead, the senate probably began to send magistrates to the region with any regularity at some uncertain point after the conclusion of the war against Jugurtha. This interpretation of the evidence brings Roman practice in Africa more into line with recent models of Roman imperialism in the second century, in which consuls and praetors were dispatched primarily to wage war, exert military pressure, or preserve Rome's position in an unstable environment.
Gargola, Daniel J., "Was There a Regular Provincia Africa in the Second Century?" (2017). History Faculty Publications. 7.